Legalizing Pot Requires GOP Support
When legislators who oppose federal marijuana prohibition vote against your legalization bill, you probably are doing something wrong. That is what happened in April, when the House of Representatives approved the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act.
The 220 ayes included 217 Democrats but only three Republicans, two fewer than voted for the MORE Act in 2020. That tiny tally suggests that Democrats are not really interested in building the bipartisan coalition that would be necessary to resolve the conflict between state and federal marijuana laws.
Even if Senate Democrats unanimously supported a legalization bill, they would still need help from 10 Republicans to overcome a filibuster. But both the MORE Act and the legalization bill that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D–N.Y.) planned to introduce by August include unnecessarily complicated and contentious provisions.
A simpler approach could help attract GOP votes. The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017, sponsored by then-Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R–Calif.), consisted of a
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